Friday, May 13, 2022

India’s oil import from Russia ‘miniscule,’ ‘legitimate energy transactions’ can’t be politicised: Govt

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  • ‘Indian energy companies have been sourcing energy supplies from Russia, on a sustained basis, over past several years’ 
  • ‘If suddenly, now, as a huge importer of crude oil, India pulls back on its diversified sources, concentrating on the remaining, in an already constrained market, it will lead to further volatility and instability, jacking up international prices’ 

New Delhi: India has defended its decision to import crude oil from Russia, saying that energy purchase from the country remains “miniscule” in comparison to India’s total consumption and that “legitimate energy transactions” cannot be politicised. Referring to a recent article published in the media with regard to India’s oil imports from Russia, the Petroleum Ministry said on Wednesday, “A recent article, following closely on the heels of a series of similar pieces by certain media platforms, makes conjectures and tries to sensationalise routine purchase of crude oil by Indian oil companies from Russia based on concocted ‘source-based’ stories. Such blatant misuse of the freedom of the press could be disregarded but cannot, in this case, because this is a part of a pre-meditated attempt to further destabilise an already fragile global oil market.” 

“The comparison of selective data in the article in order to produce a false narrative is clearly a part of an orchestrated campaign. The article also contains several inherent contradictions,” the government said. 

‘Important for India to ensure affordable energy access’ 

Stressing on the imperative for India to ensure energy access, the government said, “India’s energy needs are enormous with daily consumption of around 5 million barrels and a refining capacity of 250 MMTPA. For energy security and to fulfill its objective of providing energy justice to each of its citizens, Indian Energy companies buy from all major oil producers in the world. On an average, India has the unique distinction of servicing 60 million visitors at its petrol pumps every single day. Despite challenging times, it is important for the government to ensure access to affordable energy to our citizens.” 

“Our top 10 import destinations are mostly from West Asia. In the recent past, USA has become a major crude oil source for India, supplying almost $13 billion worth of energy imports, with almost 7.3 percent of market share of crude oil imports,” it added. 

‘If India stops oil imports from Russia, global prices will go up’ 

Stating that India has been constrained to pay ever-increasing prices charged by certain oil suppliers, the government said that it has made it essential for India to diversify its sources of procurement. “Meanwhile, energy demand in India remains inelastic. At the current price levels, many countries in the immediate neighborhood are facing severe fuel shortages and chaos due to high fuel inflation,” said the Petroleum Ministry. 

“Indian energy companies have been sourcing energy supplies from Russia, on a sustained basis, over past several years. Yearly figures may have varied due to variety of reasons, including operational necessities. If suddenly, now, as a huge importer of crude oil, India pulls back on its diversified sources, concentrating on the remaining, in an already constrained market, it will lead to further volatility and instability, jacking up international prices,” said the government. 

‘Oil imports from Russia remain miniscule’ 

Defending India’s oil imports from Russa, the government said, “Despite attempts to portray it otherwise, energy purchases from Russia remain miniscule in comparison to India’s total consumption. Journalists who wish to get a better understanding of the ever-evolving energy situation would be well advised to turn their attention to other parts of the world to countries which are major consumers of energy supplied from Russia.” 

“India’s legitimate energy transactions cannot be politicised. Energy flows are yet to be sanctioned. Based on unverified sources, such journalistic pieces are intended to increase their own readership. Instead of responsibly informing debate, such sensationalistic reports, end up serving vested interests including speculators, leading to negative impact on the global economic recovery,” it added.

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